Inspecting My Gutters with a DJI Mavic Pro

Drones are good for more than just pretty pictures, I used a drone to make sure my gutters were in good shape after the fall leaves had fallen.

Splash

The Safer, Easier Way to Check Your Gutters

Last year I had a downspout get clogged with leaves on my two story house. It's a long way up to the gutters and I don't have a ladder large enough to reach them. I do have a leaf blower however and a clever friend told me to get some PVC pipe and connectors to attach to the leaf blower which I could then use to raise up to the gutters and blow the leaves and debris out with. It worked great, but is kind of a hassle and I couldn't really see what was happening. This year I decided to get out ahead of the problem and check the gutters. Most of the leaves have already fallen in middle TN and today was a good day to charge up my Mavic Pro and go take a look.

The process was simple, quick and provided me with the information I needed to take action and clear a few sections of gutters that needed cleaning. I lifted off with the Mavic and pointed the camera straight down. I flew down the gutters looking for any collection of leaves or other problems, taking some photos as I went. I was using an iPad Mini so the large screen made it easy to see just from the live HD video feed. Taking photos allows you to go back and look more closely in higher resolution if needed too. It took less than 5 minutes to do the whole house. Certainly better than renting a large ladder and spending 45 minutes to an hour moving about the whole house and risking a fall. Fortunately the worst areas were on my Gazebo which is easy to access with a small ladder.

I love being able to pull out the drone to take a look when needed. It's also useful for checking the roof after a big storm. It just goes to show you that drones can do more than take pretty pictures and videos of exotic scenery, they can also save you time, money and energy on mundane tasks like checking your gutters.

Do you have any stories about how you've used a drone to do something mundane or out of the norm? We'd love to hear what you've done so comment below and share your creative drone use.

Last edited by Jason Cole; Nov 19, 2020 at 10:49 AM..
Thread Tools
Nov 19, 2020, 06:22 PM
ids911
ids911's Avatar
Did the same a while back. Found that the down draft can blow out most of the leaves��
Nov 19, 2020, 08:40 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by ids911
Did the same a while back. Found that the down draft can blow out most of the leaves��

Bonus! That's great. I did blow out some with the drone today, but still need to manually clear a bit too. Fun stuff.
Nov 19, 2020, 10:07 PM
(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
JohnCC's Avatar
Was buying a new home and it needed several things fixed that the home inspector found. Nothing major, but it was a brand new house, and the builder agreed to fix all the things that were found. I verified that fixes to the shingles seemed legit with my Mavic Pro. Was quick and easy to see visibly that they had fixed the shingles that had just been slopped on to the edge there previously.

I also used the drone again to just check over the roof before the builder warranty expired. Boring, but an easy and safe way to inspect things for sure.
Nov 20, 2020, 05:49 AM
Reach for the stars
ekkostar's Avatar
Excellent post Jason !

I have some elderly friends and I offered to check over their roof with my drone. I was able to find a few dislodged roof tiles. That then enabled them to get someone to come in and do the fix.

Drones have such amazing uses and not just purely recreation. Agricultural surveys, inspections, policing and not to forget SAR purposes which can be nothing short of lifesavers.

The use and accessibility of drones has been such a major step forward for everyone and I suspect they will become very much and even more mainstream going forward.
Nov 21, 2020, 05:39 PM
Registered User
Bill Glover's Avatar
it depends a bit on where you live. Over here it's illegal to fly a camera-equipped quad within 50 metres of another building, or within 150 metres of a 'built up area' (town, housing estate etc.). So surveying your own roof may not be possible without breaking the law. Assuming you're not registered as a commercial operator.
Latest blog entry: Eachine QX65 FPV quad review
Nov 22, 2020, 07:21 AM
Registered User
earlwb's Avatar
I like the ideas for using a drone to do things around the home. Checking the rain gutters is almost a no brainer, but I don't remember anyone else thinking of doing it before you did. Checking the roof for damage after a storm is another use too.

Yes, over here the FAA is supposed to control the airspace, but the cities, towns, counties and states have been creating a bunch of anti-drone laws that may or may not be legal. It is a patchwork mess of laws and ordinances. Unfortunately you need deep pockets to defend yourself if you are the one they decide to go after.
Nov 22, 2020, 08:05 AM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
Yeah it’s unfortunate these cities are trying to make laws where they have no right to. They cannot regulate the airspace, but can control where you can take off and land from. If you are doing it from your own private property, there isn’t much they can do legally, but that won’t stop them from trying and could cost a lot to prove you did no wrong like you mentioned.
Nov 22, 2020, 09:46 AM
What goes up, hopefully lands!
Repaid1's Avatar
"We" have been using our drones for years for various inspections from gutter to rooftops and for me as a ranch/farm owner, fence line and crop and livestock wellness checks daily. Where normally before I would have to go mobile and drive perimeters and paths, I now launch with morning coffee on the deck and review when she comes home. I was involved with local authorities for SAR operations if needed or aerial accident scene pictures for investigations. https://airbears.org/

I daily flew mine and neighbor farm areas using Litchi in mornings and evening checks. These things have a multitude of uses if one just thinks about it. While I have seen it done years ago I recently used my M2Z to clear my deck daily of leaves, I have seen Driveways blown clear (Might need a Inspire for that ) There is no sense in not getting a little stick time and in close nose in practice and getting a deck clear at the same time Oh and my 13 chickens aren't real happy with my systems, but I can easily herd them back to their coop when I need to mow when I take to the air with it (they run a bee line to inside when they see it coming)...so many options...so much fun!

p.s. A great little gift is a homemade Christmas card for your neighbors and friends with a aerial shot of their homes and properties on the front of card. 5 minutes of photoshop each...cheap and they love it, (include a raw 5 X 7 untouched for framing)...trust me...and if your commercial like me...free advertisement
Last edited by Repaid1; Nov 22, 2020 at 10:01 AM.
Nov 22, 2020, 10:50 AM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
Nice!
Nov 22, 2020, 03:14 PM
What goes up, hopefully lands!
Repaid1's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Cole
Nice!
BTW a guy I know uses his Paramotor to clean his yard of leaves...what are you flying..both Unit and wing?
Nov 22, 2020, 06:27 PM
Registered User
earlwb's Avatar
I like the idea of taking aerial photos and sending them to your neighbors as a XMAS gift, et cetera. Yes it is a good idea to make friends with your neighbors and not make them enemies. Then they would tend to look the other way when you are flying your drones.
Nov 22, 2020, 07:15 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Repaid1
BTW a guy I know uses his Paramotor to clean his yard of leaves...what are you flying..both Unit and wing?

I really miss mine. I had a iFlyer Frame with a Top80 engine and an Apco Karma wing. Sold it awhile back and regret it. I'd like to do it again, but have been mulling over building an electric backpack unit.


Quick Reply
Message:

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion DJI SDK Apps - Spark-P3-P4P-Mavic Pro-Air-Pro2-Inspire1 & 2-M100-M200-M600-A3-N3 MultiRotR Multirotor Drone Talk 2234 May 19, 2020 07:59 PM
Discussion My Complaints with lost DJI remote-control aerial vehicle – model “Mavic Pro” bg4aat Commercial UAV/FPV 8 Aug 14, 2017 04:04 PM
Help! My Complaints with DJI remote-control aerial vehicle – model “Mavic Pro” bg4aat Multirotor Drone Electronics 1 Jun 25, 2017 10:04 AM
Help! My Complaints with DJI remote-control aerial vehicle – model “Mavic Pro” bg4aat Multirotor Drone Talk 2 Jun 24, 2017 05:07 AM
Help! My Complaints with DJI remote-control aerial vehicle – model “Mavic Pro” bg4aat FPV Aircraft 1 Jun 24, 2017 02:18 AM